Tarap or Terap (Species: Artocarpus odoratissimus) is a fruit native to Borneo, though its Philippines name “Marang” is the official English name (WHY?!). In Greek, Artocarpus means “Bread Fruit” and Odoratissimus describes Tarap as “odoriferous”. Is Tarap a “Smelly Breadfruit” then? I bet 90% of Sabah population says NO.
The strong aroma of Tarap probably reminds you of Durian. The scent is mainly from its skin. Actually the taste of its flesh more resembles to Jackfruit, even some anti-Durian people find it acceptable. The fruit is about the size of a rugby, and its skin is covered with soft and blunt spines. The spines doesn’t prick at all. I held it in my hands and it felt like touching a head of soldier with buzz cut hairstyle.
When ripe, the rind of Tarap will turn soft and quite easy to be torn open by hands to reveal its juicy flesh. Each fruit is only about 1 Kg in weight, a serving suitable as a tasty dessert after meal. The cream-color pulps look so appetizing, as if they are screaming desperately, “Eat Me!!! Eat Me!!!”
The flesh of Tarap is sweet, soft and creamy. Once you start eating one, you can’t stop and will go yum yum yum finishing the whole fruit in minutes. It tastes the best when freshly open. After a few hours, the fruit will oxidize, turn darker and less delicious.
The fruiting season of Tarap usually falls in November and December. You can find it in most vegetables & fruit market for only a few dollars each. If you travel in Sabah now, Tarap is a must-try fruit as you can’t find it anywhere else.
Pic: tarap for sale in roadside stall
Pic: most tarap has yellow skin. If you see the tarap in green color, buy it. It’s less common and tastes better (with slightly thicker pulp).
Photos taken in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo